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Feedback: General Crafting + Harvesting


Stratics Veteran
I'm always interested in crafting, and have explored several of the craft skills pretty intensely in my 10 days of playing. I'm big on cooking in games. Here are some thoughts, observations and feedback on the existing systems, as well as some suggestions. (I'll try to break this into

  • General. There's a lot of things right with the crafting system, but a few things that just baffle me.
    • Tools. There are several tools in game currently and are required in-game to perform certain actions (butchering, skinning, burying). I feel these actions could be better integrated into the crafting system, though.
      • Chef's Knife. I'd like to see a chef's knife required in inventory to do certain cooking skills (slice, dice, chop). The various chop recipes would check for this tool in inventory (without expending it).
      • Paring Knife. Similar to the chef's knife, but required for Peel and Clean recipes. (new recipes) These prepare ingredients for cooking.
      • Whittling Knife. A knife to be used for both Fletching and Carpentry tasks. Used for fine detail and shaping wood.
      • Axe. Used for felling trees. (see harvesting).
    • Tool Sets. I'd like to see a couple of types of sets which act as multiple knives. These would function normally to conserve inventory space. I'd have these available behind the 2nd level of faction. Advanced versions of these tools could add bonuses to certain skills.
      • Utility knife set. These would function as a Butchering knife, a Skinning knife and a Whittling knife (above).
      • Kitchen knife set. This would function as both a Chef's knife and a Paring knife.
      • Outdoorsman's tool set. This would function as an Axe, Saw or Shovel.
    • Recipe prices. The prices for acquiring new recipes are rather crippling. The recipes should be grouped into related 'categories' which are purchased / learned. Each category should include all recipes for making the same type of item with various ingredients. For instance, a Fried Fish category could include recipes for Fried Clownfish, Fried Grapefish, Fried Perch, and any other. Instead of requiring 3 recipes purchases (with possibly 3 faction requirements) at a combined cost of X, the Fried Fish category would include only cost Y. I'd suggest that Y be very close to the average of a single recipe. Favor is (and should be) a limiting factor on what recipes are available. As it it, favor and cost both factor into recipe availability.
    • Skill availability. Currently, all crafting skills are available to every character. This makes everyone capable of learning everything, reducing dependence between characters. A restriction of any nature would encourage player-to-player trading.
    • Crafting time. The system of a one-push-to-complete makes crafting overly simple, and doesn't take appropriate time for the work. More skills need to take longer to complete. I can craft 10 pieces of venison jerky faster than I can eat 1. Why? Eating the jerky has a timer, cooking has no time. Gardening is implemented wonderfully, requiring growth period, then watering, then fertilizing (if needed), then pick/harvest the final product. Each phase had a timer, and then a user action before the final product is complete. More skills need to incorporate these timers (and user actions) so that the crafting doesn't become trivialized.
  • Harvesting. There are many issues with the various supporting systems (Harvest, Skinning, Butchering). In rough categories, here is some feedback.
    • Harvesting Experience. Experience for this skill is rather paltry, making it very difficult to level. I was stuck running around in the Serbule area for a very long time trying to level Harvesting skill. I was capable of fighting and running favor tasks in the second zone long before I could harvest any of resources there. Experience is balanced by the availability of the resources, and even with less than 100 people online, the opportunity to Harvest is severely limited. Suggestion: either increase the Harvest resource spawns by 200%, or increase experience by 50% on harvesting.
    • Butchering Skinning Experience. The opportunity to use these skills occurs much more frequently than the Harvest skill. But the success ratio hurts the various dependent crafting skills. A character who is late in acquiring a skinning knife or butchering knife will be spending an awful lot of time pursuing rats in order to improve this skill. So much, in fact, I'm considering a last name of Ratskinner, should that option ever become available.
    • Forestry. I'm sorry. Wood found on the ground is dead. It is useful only for firewood. Wood intended for any types of crafting is harvested from living trees of the proper type and age, then it is treated (dried), squared, shaped and split (or sawed) into usable planks. I'd suggest a tree (which could be planted like gardening) and tended over a very long period (maybe even hours). Forestry could become it's own skill, a subset of Foraging or Gardening. A tree would be an in-world object much like a squash or potato, with a couple of interactions.
      • Identify. Determine what type of tree this is. Oak, Maple, Cedar, Orange, Apple, etc.
      • Check Health. Checks the tree for bugs or diseases, and cures these. (Perhaps requiring an ingredient (bone meal or strange dirt). This could occur once per stage.
      • Stages. The tree would grow through several stages, each taking some time. Seedlings to Saplings to Young Tree to Mature Tree to Ancient Tree. This is simply displayed in the description.
      • Fell. When a tree reaches Mature Tree stage, it can be felled, producing a single log like the current Forage. Ancient Trees can also be harvested, with different harvested results, like Oak Heartwood Logs or a a 25% chance of 3 regular logs. Felling a tree requires an Axe in the inventory.
      • Pick. Mature fruit trees could generate 1 fruit per action (optionally 1+(1 per 10 Forestry skill) fruits). (This would help improve the availability of foraged fruits), and allow the introduction of other fruit types (pears, cherries, limes, lemons, etc).
Enough for now. Your feedback, opinions, etc. are welcomed. More on individual skills later. (in another thread).


Stratics Veteran
I totally agree with all of the above and would like to suggest a few more changes. The absence of these things really break my immersion.

1. Laundry. Seriously, nobody changes clothes? Where immersion is concerned, it's neo-Tamogochi or nothing I'm afraid. Here are some additions I'd like to see. I do not feel these would make gameplay tedious in any way.
Laundry Soap - could be crafted from floral soaps that have no use besides one quest (even though everyone keeps them anyway)
Laundry stick - for mid cycle stirring. When doing laundry in an MMO, I would like my laundry experience to be as close to an actual laundry experience as possible if you don't mind.
Fabric Softener (liquid) - probably made from flowers. I find when my virtual armor chafes my virtual privates, I'm less efficient at virtually slaying virtual monsters.
Fabric Softener (sheets)- Yeah, I want the choice. I have both in my house, so I should have both in my game. Don't even try hiding behind the excuse that "it's pre-alpha and we have to prioritize."
Those little wash bags I can put my silk undies in. Don't f*** with my delicates; I'm not even joking. Maybe craft these from fairy skins?
Washer and dryer (seperate) -Blacksmithing for sure. Should require 50 stacks of Good Metal/machine.
Washer and dryer (combo) -don't limit people's choices. This is virtual reality after all.
Coin-wash washer and dryer (temporary, crafted). Some people can't afford their own, OK? They still have a right to do laundry.
Alternate currency for coin-op washer and dryer- I doubt they'll take council certificates.

2. Oral Hygiene:
Toothbrush. I think it's bad that nobody ever brushes their teeth. If we don't use it at least 3x a day, we should take a hygiene hit. Gorgon toothbrushes are huge tho; they should take up at least a row in your inventory and require 50 staff to use.
Toothpaste. Can't have one without the other! Toothpaste could be crafted using alchemy from bonemeal for a whiter, brighter smile.
Toothpicks. Made from carpentry. +Hygiene bonus for using them; can be combined with carded cotton to make Qtips for removing pimples. More on this later (maybe).
Dental Floss. Introduced via a followup to Way's 2nd quest, it requires another string from Ukorga/crafted per use. Flossing plays a role in the prevention of gum disease.
Mouthwash I don't want to live in Alharth if there's gingivitus.

3. Caloric Intake Monitor:
BMR meter: Would it be too much work to code one into the basic UI? I'd like to know how much energy my character is expending (to the nearest joule) with every action.
Overlay display minute to minute Glucose, fat and Protein requirements, that'd be grand.


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Stratics Veteran
My one concern is whether requiring more tools to do things would make animals unable to do whole branches of crafting. I'm a spider, and I love cooking, for example. I've been trading for wood or transferring it over from another character in order to make recipes since I can't operate a saw with my eight hairy legs. I'd hate to be unable to cook because spiders can't use those knives. At the moment, we can butcher and skin, but what animals can and can't do is a little inconsistent.

A long time ago, recipes were actually sold in bundles. It was super cheap. You bought a book, like "greasy breakfast for beginners" or something, and it would teach you hash browns, onion blossom, bacon, etc. all at once. I kind of wish both ideas could be implemented, maybe have recipe books as rare loot or something, but individual recipes still available for purchase from NPCs.

About your difficulty with harvesting, apples used to spawn WAAAAAYYYYYYYY more, making it much easier to level up foraging. I'm not sure why that was changed, or why no apples spawn near the tutorial cave entrance any more. Apples are used in a lot of recipes relative to other fruit, and I pretty much never get enough apples to make any of them. I buy them from the "buy used" tab for vendors when I need one for a quest.